Secret Message Society - April Centerfold

The April Secret Message Society Centerfold is Janae Maslowski. The Secret Message Society began as a membership to a private blog. At that time I held monthly online video chats with members and Janae came to them regularly. There were times where the chats ended up being just the two of us. I can still picture beautiful her, sitting in front of a huge abstract painting, sharing with me the first bits and pieces of who I would come to know her as. 

Janae introduced me to Ayn Rand and the worlds of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She introduced me to Katy Perry and that has opened a portal I could have never expected. She introduced me to my MADness. She engaged with me in heretical texting, where we both crossed all sorts of blurred lines. I shared a hot and holy evening with her last summer, drinking wine and blurting soul-freeing atrocities into the phone, facing things that had to die, so that I could go on living. I visited her home last Fall, shortly after my book launch, and threw my empty and disenchanted self into the respite of a land that smelled like Christmas. I wept at rainbows and illusions, stared listlessly out windows and allowed myself to disappear because she was a welcome environment to do so. I laughed to life in a little Oregon bakery (it will always be OUR bakery) shyly licking egg yolk and avocado off my fingers when it leaked out the edges of my croissant. I felt like a little kid just waking up, and I AM just waking up. I flipped through her art journal and walked through her forests and asked her why, and how, and when and where. I feel sure she has felt everything there is to feel in this life, and you can be safe with a person like that. 

I am still coming to know her. All the days of my lifetime would not be enough to explore her depths. She is a constant source of secret messages. I like it when she gets to talking and I can listen. She is an oracle. I feel when I am with her that she has lived forever and she will live forever. I get but a blip with her, and I am thoroughly enjoying my blip. Glad I get to share a blip of her with you today. 








Secret mutant power: 

Hiding in plain sight.

Current art medium/creative endeavor I am exploring:

Weed pulling, flower planting, shrub pruning, gnome finding and enhancing my backyard wild.

A Secret Message I found in the last week:

Don't be afraid of the deep pruning that makes things bare and ugly for a time, because there is time and growth happens.

A stranger I interacted with recently:

An elderly gentleman at the Thrift Store, he was pleasantly surprised to have my 2-year-old take his hand {Rocco thought it was his dad's hand}.

A word that means a lot to me right now:

Felt. As in, seeking out that which is felt vs. that which is thought.

I've been exploring and focusing on embodying my feelings. It is terrifying and tangible. Commiting to the felt in myself is forever changing me. *See THIS POST for more on FELT.

When I don’t feel like my art matters I tell myself:

Don't force it and trust that I have many years to make my matter.

I knew I was an artist when:

I always stood at my desk during elementary art projects. My body told me the truth, creating energized me out of my seat in a way nothing else did. 

A rule I like to break:

I've never been much of a rule breaker.

I was annoyingly aligned with right-doing and right-choosing, mostly because I was terrified of God's lightening and man's disapproval. That being said, I've come to find that I am more of a social norm breaker. I've always felt the subtle and not-so-subtle messages of what is right and best. For instance, I really enjoy eating treats {favorites include: apple pie, donuts, scones} on a regularly basis. It always felt like I was entering the land of weak will and emotional eating because I didn't deny myself sugar. {poor sugar and butter, you've gotten such a bad rap}. And, yes, I let my kids eat sugary treats, too. 

This is what the Secret Message Society means to me:

It is an expansive space to believe, to seek, to find and to build on my own terms.

Here is something I created that I want to share with you:

A teepee, which I made for the kiddos and I thoroughly enjoy looking at.

If we meet on the street we’ll know each other as undercover artists by:

The slightly rumpled day-old clothes and red lipstick.

Each month I am featuring one Secret Message Society Member, both in the Zine and on my blog. I want you to see some of the creative ways these artists think, explore, live. When you open the Zine to the middle you will see an enticing double page spread designed by the centerfold artist. There will be a companion post here on my blog where I ask them a Lucky 13 questions. Want to join our grassroots movement of artists who are actively collecting, creating and inviting Secret Messages into their life?! You can subscribe here and/or get more details.